Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has introduced the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act, according to a press release from his office.
The bill requires “federal agencies to put new safeguards and controls on government charge cards used by federal employees.”
It also requires “penalties for violations.”
Those safeguards and internal controls include:
- performing credit checks for travel card holders and issuing restricted cards for those with poor or no credit to reduce the potential for misuse
- maintaining a record of each cardholder, including single transaction limits and total transaction limits so agencies can effectively manage their cardholders
- implementing periodic reviews to determine if cardholders have a need for a card
- properly recording rebates to the government based on prompt payment, sales volume, etc.
- providing training for cardholders and managers
- utilizing effective systems, techniques, and technologies to prevent or catch fraudulent purchases
- establishing specific policies about the number of cards to be issued, the credit limits for certain categories of cardholders, and categories of employees eligible to be issued cards
- invalidating cards when employees leave the agency or transfer
- establishing an approving official other than the purchase card holder so employees cannot approve their own purchases
- reconciling purchase card charges on the bill with receipts and supporting documentation
- reconciling disputed purchase card charges and discrepancies with the bank according to the proper procedure
- making purchase card payments promptly to avoid interest penalties
- retaining records of purchase card transactions in accordance with standard government record keeping polices
- utilizing direct payments to the bank when reimbursing employees for travel card purchases to ensure that travel card bills get paid
- comparing items submitted on travel vouchers with items already paid for with centrally billed accounts to avoid reimbursing employees for items already paid for by the agency
- submitting refund requests for unused airline tickets so the taxpayers don’t pay for tickets that were not used
- disputing unauthorized charges and tracking the status of disputed charges to proper resolution
Update (4/14): This measure has been approved by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.